|Season 1, Episode 06|
|Air date||October 20, 1990|
|Written by||Doug Molitor|
Last of Her Kind
The Conqueror is the sixth episode in the first season of Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
The main characters featured in this episode are:
After failing to stop a forest fire on a small island, Kwame, Wheeler, Linka and Gi feel like their powers were just not strong enough to handle even minor eco-emergencies, but Ma-Ti disagrees. They then come across a mysterious meteorite, which turns out to be the ship of Zarm, the former Spirit of Earth. After tempting the Planeteers (minus Ma-Ti) with gauntlets that increase their elemental powers substantially, they slowly become destructive. Ma-Ti retreats and informs Gaia, who is shocked upon finding out that Zarm is on Earth, and that he's now the Spirit of Destruction. And without being summoned by the Planeteer's rings, Zarm has captured Captain Planet in a hard crystal on his ship. Gaia, now mortal, and Ma-Ti have to free the other Planeteers from their corruption and save Captain Planet from being held, prisoner.
The episode starts with Zarm's ship racing through space and into Earth like a meteorite. As it crashes on an island on the far sea, a huge firestorm breaks out. The Planeteers are watching while arriving on the Geo-Cruiser. While they are glad there are no people on the island, Gaia tells them the fire and dust the meteorite has unleashed will kill the animals unless they help. As Linka tells her the huge firestorm does not threaten the entire planet, Gaia is not sure as she senses great-great danger. Upon arriving, the island is dark as the fire and dust from the meteorite unleashed has cut off all sunlight as the tropical sun cannot penetrate through the dust cloud. After failing to stop the blaze, the Planeteers summon Captain Planet to extinguish the flames. The Planeteers see Zarm's ship is the meteorite that was the source of the fire. They meet Zarm (the former Spirit of the Earth) who tempts the Planeteers with gauntlets that increase their elemental powers. Seeing as they are unable to handle even minor eco-emergencies, Kwame, Gi, Wheeler and Linka feel like their powers were just not strong enough while Ma-Ti disagrees. Ma-Ti retreats and informs Gaia, who is shocked upon finding out her predecessor is back on Earth. Upon the 2 enemies seeing each other in ages, Gaia tells Ma-Ti that long ago Zarm preceded her as the Spirit of Earth. But he left and Gaia became his successor. Now as the Spirit of Destruction, Zarm has manipulated the Planeteers into fighting each other for power. And without being called by their rings, Zarm has forcefully summoned Captain Planet and sealed him in a hard crystal on his ship as a prisoner. As the Planeteers become destructive by abandoning the way of peace, Gaia becomes weak as she is now a mere mortal. Despite that, she refuses to give up to show the Planeteers Zarm's true colours; and without being noticed, she sneaks on to Zarm's ship and takes the crystal ball. As Ma-Ti sees Gaia is mortal, she plans to get to the missile base. Knowing her life would be in danger, she has Ma-Ti use his Heart Ring to summon dolphins to get a ride to the missile base as peace requires a brave heart. At the missile base, the Planeteers are still using Zarm's powers to become destructive. Before Wheeler can use his Iron Fist, Linka stops him as she sees Ma-Ti's Heart Ring flashing Yellow through the binoculars, and tells them that Gaia looks human as she is solid. Gi agrees and Wheeler is shocked about nearly frying her. As the remaining 4 head in the Geo-Cruiser to Gaia about getting rid of nuclear weapons, she is able to calmly tell the Planeteers about Zarm's plan to trigger retaliation; and that his superpowers given to them are a trick into starting a nuclear war. Enraged while watching from inside his ship, Zarm (planning to show Gaia what it means to be mortal) fires a laser causing rubble that nearly crushes her. The remaining 4 Planeteers (seeing that Gaia is nearly killed) help their mentor out of the rubble after seeing Zarm's true personality as she tells them to see what can happen when destruction is their method. Linka is the first to see Gaia bleeding as she is human and not a spirit. As Linka bandages the blood, Gaia tells the remaining 4 the more they use Zarm's violent powers, the closer it would be to the end of the Earth, including Gaia herself. As Ma-Ti hands Gaia the crystal ball she stole from Zarm's ship, she reveals a scene and narrates the truth about what Zarm's reign did to his home planet. All their advanced Science was used to make war as a rocket flies by and crashes, creating explosions. Nuclear war broke out as fire, smoke and dust appeared destructively. Nothing on the planet was spared as all homes were destroyed and all lives were lost. Smoke and dust from the nuclear war that broke out filled the skies entirely cutting off all sunlight, leaving the planet in eternal darkness as the sunlight cannot penetrate through the dust cloud. In a few years, the nuclear fallout left Zarm's world a lifeless cinder, utterly destroyed. The remaining 4 Planeteers are left guilt ridden and speechless when Ma-Ti tells them the scene they witnessed was Zarm's plan and how they nearly helped him destroy Earth; Gaia forgives them for their corruption after being tempted for more power. Coming to their senses, they abandon Zarm and side with Gaia. Revealing his true self, Zarm plans to start the war himself. With hope in her heart, Gaia tells the Planeteers to use their rings to free Captain Planet. Captain Planet throws Zarm's ship inside a nearby volcano. As Ma-Ti is the 1st to see Gaia glowing and becoming transparent, she tells the Planeteers seeing them all back together has proudly restored her spirit. Now fully restored, she uses her powers to create a firestorm that erupts the volcano, which also sends Zarm's ship flying. Captain swings Zarm's ship back to his planet. "You made your planet a wasteland, Zarm; now go live there." In the end on Hope Island, Gaia and the Planeteers talk about living in a peaceful environment by working together, even for travellers from different planets.
Captain Planet: It isn't just grown-ups who help destroy our planet.
Wheeler: Some kids do it with graffiti.
Gi: Some kids do it with vandalism.
Linka: And some do it when they don't stop to think.
Gaia: (showing the same landscape twice – first flourishing and beautiful, then destroyed) Earth can be like this – or like this.
Kwame: We can destroy it with our hate...
Ma-Ti: Or save it with our love.
Captain Planet: The power is yours!
Significant Moments and Facts
- Zarm appears for the first time.
- Ma-Ti finding Zarm's heart to be empty can be seen as the foreshadowing of the revelation from Summit to Save Earth Part II.
- Gaia is turned mortal for the first time.
- Because Ma-Ti didn't accept the "Heart of Conquest" Iron Fist, the five powers of conquest weren't combined to summon a possible "Captain Conquest" (another evil counterpart of Captain Planet aside Captain Pollution). Even though it was never thought of at that time, it's unknown who Captain Conquest might have been.
- Captain Planet was forcefully summoned to the material plane by Zarm without prior knowledge by Gaia or the Planeteers. The only other time this happens is in the season 4 episode You Bet Your Planet.
- Despite staying behind on the island and sticking on Gaia's side, Ma-Ti is erroneously shown as if he accepted Zarm's offer. For reference, see the pictures.
- Ma-Ti's silhouette can be seen between Kwame and Wheeler.
- The top of Ma-Ti's head is visible in the back of the geo-cruiser.
- Ma-Ti looks as if he wore an Iron Fist.
- When Gi removes her Iron Fist, her ring can be seen still on her finger, despite having removed it earlier.
- Gaia tells the Planeteers that long ago, Zarm was the Spirit of the Earth like she was. However, since Zarm is the Spirit of War and Destruction, this implies that he is based on Mars, the Roman God of War, who in Greek mythology was called Ares (represented in the Zodiac by the ram). Ares was never the God of the Earth; he was always the God of War.
- Wheeler: Is this an invasion? Like in the movies?
Zarm: (with a laugh) No. I cannot even venture into your environment. But you may step into mine.
Ma-Ti: We really should ask Gaia first. She is the Spirit of our planet.
Zarm: What a meek spirit she must be – to have such (his eyes start glowing red) timid followers.
Wheeler: Gaia is not meek! And neither are we. (to other Planeteers) Right?
- Ma-Ti: (to himself) I do not trust him. Zarm's heart is so... empty.
- Zarm: (showing the Iron Fists) I have chosen you, Planeteers to wear these. They will increase your power of the elements a hundredfold.
Wheeler: I'll have a hundred times the scorch power?
Zarm: What of you, Ma-Ti? You can control the hearts of the world with this.
Ma-Ti: Gaia gave us all the power we need, Wheeler. We should not do anything until we talk to her.
Wheeler: Come on, Ma-Ti. I'm sure Gaia would O.K. What's wrong with having more power?
Linka: As Zarm said, we could have stopped that fire ourselves.
Wheeler: My hand won't go in!
Zarm: I think you need to remove your ring.
Wheeler: But Gaia gave us these rings!
Zarm: Well... (his eyes start glowing red) if you're afraid...
Wheeler: I am not afraid! (takes off his ring and puts it in his pocket)
Linka: I am not so sure you should do that, Wheeler.
Wheeler: Hey, we're Planeteers! We can take care of ourselves!
- Ma-Ti: (about the other Planeteers) After Zarm gave them the Iron Fists, they started arguing with each other.
Gaia: Did you say "Zarm?"
Zarm: That's right... Gaia. It's been ages since we've seen each other.
Gaia: Yes, it has been ages, Zarm; but not nearly long enough.
- Gaia, being on the island, watches Linka destroy the missile base with the Wind of Conquest.
Linka: (laughing) My power really blows them away!
Gaia: (with a pained expression on her face) Linka, no! (falls to her knees)
Ma-Ti: Gaia, what is wrong? What is happening to you?
Gaia: The Planeteers must not abandon their way of peace. If they do, I will become mortal, and the Earth itself could die.
- Ma-Ti: Oh, no, Gaia! You are mortal!
Gaia: Believe me, I feel mortal. Now I must get to the missile base.
Ma-Ti: You cannot go there now! Your life would be in danger!
Gaia: I know. But peace requires a brave heart.
- Wheeler: Fires of Con...
Linka: Wheeler! STOP! Gaia and Ma-Ti are standing in the way! And Gaia looks solid, like us! She looks... human.
Gi: (looking through binoculars) Linka's right!
Wheeler: (horrified) I could've fried her!
- Zarm: Gaia, you meddler! I will show you what it means to be mortal!
Zarm pushes a button causing a laser-like power to hit the missile silos' remains close to Gaia and Ma-Ti.
Gaia: (in fear) Planeteers!
Ma-Ti successfully escapes, but Gaia falls to the ground, letting go of Zarm's crystal ball and apparently getting crushed by the collapsing rubble.
Kwame lifts Gaia, while Wheeler and Linka work on freeing her leg trapped in the debris.
Gaia: (weakly) You see what can happen when destruction is your method?
Linka: It is true! You are not a spirit – you are bleeding!
- Back on Hope Island.
Gaia: To save the planet, we need to work together – and share.
Wheeler: Sure, Gaia. We get the hint. (to the audience) Your turn.
Captain Planet: (offscreen) The power is yours!